Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Schutzian process of retypification? Drink!

The end of the semester is inching towards me, which means that not only am I internally weeping with stress--less than a week until my master's exam! aaaah!--but also that I am so. incredibly. sick of all my classes. Frills, guys, sometimes I sit in my syntax class and wonder what would happen if I ran out of the room screaming in frustration and boredom.

This past week was perfect timing, then, for my invention of a new game, which I will call "how to survive a three-hour anthropology seminar."

(Catchy name, huh?)

The game is easy, and depends on only one prop, a (preferably caffeinated) beverage. Clutch it in your hand like you'd die without it, as you very well might; three hours of sleep a night is not enough.

The rules are simple: drink for academic anthropology stereotypes.

When someone uses ridiculous jargon? Drink! (Come on people, phenomenology? Ethological? Aboutness?)

When someone abuses English productive morphology? Drink! ("De-embeddedment"? Are we serious?)

When someone quibbles over definitions? Drink! (What does Silverstein really mean when he says "referential"?)

When the talkative dude with the goatee says something that might be deep, or might just be really obvious? Drink! ("Truly, my face belongs to you all, even though I consider it one of my most intimate possessions." How am I not myself? I not...myself?)

When someone cites an idea as being FamousThinker-ian? Drink! Drink! Drink! (Levi-Straussian. Kantian. Saussurean. Boasian. Bourdieuian. Hegelian. Whorfian. Merleau-Pontyian. Voloshinovian. Chomskyan. Goffmanian. IN ONE THREE-HOUR CLASS PERIOD I AM NOT JOKING.)

When that chip-on-her-shoulder Indian girl across the table cuts in with, what else, a comment about colonialism and power dynamics? Sigh. Drink. You deserve it.

When someone calls into question the true agentivity of human actors? Drink! (Oh, wait, that was me. Two sips, then.)

When you realize that you've just gotten through an entire three-hour discussion in which not a single person has cited any actual data or examples? Finish your drink. You've got a syntax class to get through next.


Confuzzled said...

I love this idea. It may well get me through Shakespeare class on Monday.

Although if I did it for any of my current three classes, I'm afraid I'd need more than one beverage. (Especially for the ridiculous jargon and the FamousThinker-ian stereotypes.)

Melyngoch said...

And then drink for all data or examples used in syntax? Or are those just performance?

Your game is brilliant. Milton Braldeyan, even. If only I'd had this in front of me during the ecopoetics unit, aka, the Week of Poststructuralist Non-Referentialitized Pseudo-Originary Derridean/Saussurian/Wallace-Stevensian What-do-you-mean-by-language Ecocritical Jumbomumbo. I'd still be high.

Nadia said...

Phew, I hope you had time for a bathroom break!

Popok said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Joo said...

I suppose you've matured beyond listening for words that you can start with "sex" (sexpect, sexpert, sextract). That's only good for undergrad syntax;)

Ginsberg said...

I'm glad I'm done with seminars.

padre said...

Its even worse when people think it is not abstract. I just had to be the recipient of a mock student briefing about a policy issue. Three times (in ten minutes) I asked "Can you give me a single concrete example of a time this policy you are proposing would have made a difference?" Not once. It was chilling.

padre said...


if his face belongs to you all, can you sell it? What could you get at the pawn shop for his face? Probably more without the goatee.